Sun. Mar 7th, 2021

Today, the Bombay High Court granted bail to activist Varavara Rao for a period of six months on medical grounds. However, the court also imposed some curbs while granting bail. The court issued directions to Mr. Rao to stay within the jurisdiction of Mumbai NIA court and also submit his passport before the court.  Mr. Rao will also have to furnish a personal bond of Rs.50,000 and two sureties as well. Varavara Rao, aged 82, who has been accused of giving inflammatory speech which triggered the violence in Bhima Koregaon area, is currently undergoing treatment at Nanavati Hospital in Mumbai. Rao was admitted by the state government following the High Court’s directions. Rao, who was arrested in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence, has been in custody, waiting for the trial, since August 28, 2018.

The court has directed Mr. Rao to submit his passport before the NIA Court

A bench of High court including Justice SS Shinde and Justice Manish Pitale ordered, keeping in view the ailing health condition of the accused, to immediately discharge Mr. Rao from the Nanavati Hospital. The order further directed Government to immediately release Mr. Rao after his discharge from the hospital. The bench said that if it did not grant bail (keeping in view the health of Mr. Rao), it would be contravening its duty to protect to protect the principles of citizen’s fundamental rights to life and health. The court has directed Mr. Rao to submit his passport before the NIA court and not to make any contact with co-accused in this case. Recently on February 1 itself, High Court had quashed all the arguments and reserved its verdict on Rao’s bail plea.

Mr. Varavara Rao is alleged to trigger the Bhima Koregaon Violence in 2017

It may be noted that Mr. Rao was arrested in connection with the Bhima Koregaon Case. Rao is accused of delivering hate speeches at the Elgar Parishad conclave on 31st December 2017 (just one night before the Bhima Koregaon Violence). The Police have alleged that it was Mr. Rao’s speech that triggered the violence near the Koregaon-Bhima War Memorial. According to the police, the conclave organizers were having links with Maoist.

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